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How a cryptocurrency-destroying bug almost didn’t get reported


A researcher recently revealed how he found a bug that could have brought the fourth largest cryptocurrency to its knees – and how he struggled to report it.

Cory Fields, who works as a developer at MIT Media Labs’ Digital Currency Initiative, found the bug in Bitcoin Cash, which is an alternative cryptocurrency to Bitcoin based on software called Bitcoin ABC. A group of activists in the Bitcoin community introduced the software after becoming unhappy with the direction that the developers of the original Bitcoin software (known as Bitcoin Core) were taking.

When people began using Bitcoin ABC, they created a hard fork of the Bitcoin blockchain. This is a separate blockchain – a new ledger of transactions that split off from the original Bitcoin blockchain and is incompataible with it. It’s akin to one community in a town leaving and setting up their own town with its own rules.

Since then, the Bitcoin Cash blockchain has existed as an alternative to the original, and...(continued)

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